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Local jobless rate falls to 9-year low

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SAN DIEGO — The unemployment rate in San Diego County was 4.5 percent last month, the lowest since May 2007, the state Employment Development Department announced Friday.

That’s down from a steady run of 4.7 percent between December and March, and below the 5 percent recorded in April of last year, according to EDD data.

California’s unemployment rate last month was 5.2 percent, while the nationwide rate was 4.7 percent. Neither figure is seasonally adjusted.

The EDD said the hospitality industry led the way in job gains last month in preparation for the summer tourism season, as food and drinking establishments added 1,900 employees. Another 1,700 jobs were added in construction.

On the down side, manufacturing lost 1,200 positions in April.

Over the course of the year, the biggest pick-ups in jobs were in health care and social assistance, bars and restaurants, construction, administration and local government, the agency reported.

Around 70,800 San Diegans were unemployed in April, almost 7,000 less than one year earlier, out of a civilian labor force of almost 1.6 million people.